UAE's golden visa: Masdar City office now processing long-term residency

The golden visa is issued for five or 10 years and is renewed automatically

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A new centre at Abu Dhabi's Masdar City Free Zone is now accepting and processing golden visas of all eligible candidates and their families.

The Masdar team has already processed several golden visas and candidates can visit the 'one-stop-shop' for advice and services.

This can also be done remotely via online, phone or email, authorities said.

Masdar City Free Zone has teamed up with Abu Dhabi Residents Office and is working to promote the golden visas to eligible candidates.

Masdar City is serving as a hub for the kinds of researchers, investors, entrepreneurs, and students, all within specialised fields, who would qualify for a golden visa in Abu Dhabi
Abdulla Balalaa, Masdar City

The golden card is a long-term residency programme announced by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, in May 2019.

Not long after its launch, more than 400 investors and businessmen, including some of their families, had already been granted the visa, with dozens more receiving it each day.

In November 2020, Sheikh Mohammed set out a major expansion of the scheme. It allowed all doctors and PhD holders to secure a 10-year golden visa.

Some scientists, big data and artificial intelligence experts are also eligible, as are top-scoring school pupils and their families, and university graduates with a grade point average of 3.8.

The golden visa enables foreigners to live, work and study in the UAE without the need of an Emirati sponsor and will be issued for five or 10 years and renewed automatically.

"The golden visa is of particular relevance to Masdar City as it is the region’s centre for the research and development of sustainability focused innovation and technology. Attracting, retaining and producing the world’s best talent in these key industries is a fundamental driver to achieving a more sustainable and prosperous future for everyone,” said Abdulla Balalaa, executive director of Masdar City.

“We currently have more than 900 companies that benefit from the city’s unique ecosystem of education, R&D, technology start-ups, incubators and corporates.

"Masdar City is therefore serving as a hub for the kinds of researchers, investors, entrepreneurs, and students, all within specialised fields, who would qualify for a golden visa in Abu Dhabi."

Offering long-term residency will further encourage business development and draw in new talent to the country.

Long-term residents who have contributed to the country’s development are also being rewarded for their loyalty and encouraged to continue investing in the UAE.

"Our goal is to empower each and every person that calls Abu Dhabi home, enabling them to fulfil their potential and contribute to the emirate's advancement," said Sameh Al Qubaisi, executive director of the executive affairs office, Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development.

"So many people and families are eager to relocate to Abu Dhabi and experience what it offers. We hope to help more people enjoy the high standards, security and lifestyle Abu Dhabi is recognised for."

On Sunday, Abu Dhabi’s Department of Health also announced medical insurance guidelines for people who are awarded the golden visa.

The first category is of people working in the capital. Employers must continue to bear the costs of the health insurance for their employees just as for those who have the normal two or three-year residency visas.

The second category includes all other applicants. They should have valid health insurance for themselves and their family members during their stay in the Emirates.

If they do not have a health insurance cover, the applicant must sign an undertaking to get one or to bear all medical costs, if needed.

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Updated: November 01, 2021, 8:59 AM